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It's Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health (The Family Library)

4.14  ·  Rating Details  ·  859 Ratings  ·  119 Reviews
"Alternately playful and realistic, Emberley's . . . art reinforces
Harris's message that bodies come in all sizes, shapes, and colors â and that each variation is 'perfectly normal.'" â PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (starred review)

When young people have questions about sex, real answers can be hard to find. Providing accurate, unbiased answers to nearly every imaginable question, fro
Paperback, 96 pages
Published July 22nd 2004 by Candlewick (first published September 5th 1994)
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Ben Stoker Short answer, no.

Long answer. There is a lot of educational material in the book, but there is also a lot of overdone nudity and vulgarity. The…more
Short answer, no.

Long answer. There is a lot of educational material in the book, but there is also a lot of overdone nudity and vulgarity. The book's whole purpose is to show kids that whatever sexual lifestyle they want to partake in is normal and to not feel bad about it. There are times when the book specifically tells the kids exactly how different sexual activities are achieved. The book is very much a progressive look at puberty, sex and sexual lifestyles and despite giving some good information about the subjects in some cases, for the most part it is meant to desensitize kids to sexual situations and to teach them nothing is wrong with anything.(less)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,049)
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Emtiaj Hasan
Had I been asked to express my felling in a single word, then I would say, "WOW"! Actually that one word can depict this book. And I do recommend this book to everyone! (Age does matter)



এই ছবিদুইটা পৃথিবীর অনযতম সুনদর দুইটা ছবি। এবং এগুলো দেখে হলে পরশন জাগা সবাভাবিক, আমরা কিভাবে আসলাম? আমাদের আনার জনয আমাদের বাবা-মাদের কী কী পরিবরতনের মধয দিয়ে আসতে হয়েছে? এই যে এগুলো জানার চেষটায় যে পড়া, ওটাই যে যৌনশিকষা। এটা খুবই সবাভাবিক একটা বযাপার। কিনতু এই সবাভাবিক বযাপারটার মধযে কেন লজজা বা লুকোচুরি থাকে স
Feb 25, 2014 Otaycec rated it did not like it
This book is being promoted by Planned Parenthood and the American Library Association, who are recommending the book for Common Core standards across the nation.The sexualization of children was once called child abuse, but we now have elevated lust to a civil right. The culture has been so desensitized to the destructive nature of lust, that any suggestion of restraint or modesty is met with epithets of "bigot" or "homophobe," which completely avoids the real issue. We restrain every other emo ...more
Sep 03, 2013 Dolly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: older children and parents reading with them
Warning to parents: I highly recommend that parents read this book or at least preview the chapters to fully understand all of the topics that are covered. Selectively choosing the sections that a child is mature enough to understand will make this book a handy reference. Older children (likely middle grade and older) can read the book independently, with parents standing by to answer questions. I recommend that parents read this book with their tweens (the book recommends ages 10 and up.)

Our gi
Mar 30, 2011 Angi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Waaay to graphic for a 10 year old, or even a young teenager. All of the written work is very good and scientific. But I do not think a 10 year old should have a step by step description of the act of sex. Also, it seems to take the view that you will see many different naked people throughout your life. There were waaaaaaay to many cartoons of naked people. I was uncomfortable with it. I don't think there is anything wrong with only seeing your spouse and children naked. It was just to much. Pe ...more
Robert Beveridge
Mar 29, 2009 Robert Beveridge rated it really liked it
Robie H. Harris, It's Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health 2/E (Candlewick, 2004)

I was a kid in the seventies, and at the time, sex-ed manuals for kids were pretty bland stuff. Sure, they had funny illustrations and got the point across, but information was the order of the day, and it was all designed to let you know that all those changes your body was going through were normal. You weren't alone. Robie Harris' controversial, but very entertaining, It's Perfect
Feb 08, 2013 Jess rated it really liked it
A condensed look at sexual education that looks at so much and answers questions all teens and tweens ask at this time in their life.
Plus it's a frequently banned book so I just HAD to read it.
As a librarian, a rule of thumb is when asked. "Is this appropriate for children?" or "all these books are okay for kids to read right?" is that these books are geared towards a juvenile audience, but they may or may not be appropriate for your child. Please read first as a parent and then decided base on
Jan 09, 2015 Rachel rated it it was amazing
I would recommend this book for kids about to go through puberty as long as it is accompanied by more discussion with parents/trusted adults. I would go more in depth about gender and sexuality (in simple terms, of course) as well as more recent findings and why things are controversies in the world. There would definitely also have to be a discussion about how much of what they have learned about sexuality is shared with their peers from them - it must be clear that those discussions are had be ...more
Molly Cinderella
Apr 30, 2015 Molly Cinderella rated it it was amazing
This book was instrumental during puberty for me. It had a lot of very good, age-appropriate information and includes information about masturbation, bisexuality, homosexuality, and the fact that everyone has differently shaped bodies and that's OK. There was a lot of info about the basic biology behind puberty, which was really important for 10-year-old me: the changes you go through are a lot less scary when you feel like you understand them. There was also a really beautiful page on how some ...more
Mar 08, 2016 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
This cute and no-nonsense volumes covers factual information on a wide range of basic health and sex-Ed subjects, at an accessible middle school level.

I am teaching health to middle and high schoolers and I have been unhappy with the big gaps in many of the standard curricula. Even sex-Ed textbooks seem to be yucked out by any description of sex beyond something that generates pregnancies and spreads infections. But if we leave out those important conversations about why people would WANT to ha
Dec 11, 2011 Dena rated it liked it
Summary: This book is a guide for parents to open a dialogue with their child about sex. It covers subjects such as sexual activity, birth control, gender issues, body parts, and puberty.
Personal Reaction: I’d like to start by saying that I went to a bookstore and five libraries before I found this book, which is kept on reserve at Newton Grisham Library. Quite frankly, I don’t understand what the big deal is in regards to this book. Why is this a book that so many feel should be banned in most
Mar 16, 2013 Vanessa rated it really liked it
This is a very concise, well-written book with accurate but non-threatening illustrations for the pre-adolescent set. I bought it at the same time I bought Usborne's What's Happening to Me? However, I held this one back for a couple of years, thinking that my son wasn't quite ready for all of the information in it at the age of nine, and that the Usborne book was perfectly pitched at him.

Alas, I think I waited a little too long. My boy had some questions recently that were addressed more fully i
Jun 14, 2011 Alison rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health is a book for young adults about the physical and emotional changes one’s body goes through during puberty. Harris and Emberley also detail different perspectives on families and offer health advice.
It’s perfectly normal has very straight-forward text that could be easily grasped by younger middle school students. In fact, older students may feel patronized by the simplicity of the text. Illustrations of a bird and a bee,
Oct 22, 2010 Theresa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 722
This book has really great information, the newest edition includes bisexuality, talks about abortion rights and contraception and has really thorough but not graphic illustrations (cartoons).

There were a few things I didn't like:

Sometimes the three-column text format and spliting the chapters without moveing to a new page made the flow of reading a little awkward.

The gender discussion does not include transgendered individuals and instead says the male and female are genders.

The terms "feeli
Dec 28, 2008 Duane rated it it was amazing
This is the best book to give anyone who is suffering the times of change that most adolescents go through. Filled with great illustrations and real-world information, this book holds nothing back. Is it too graphic? I don't think so. Is it too much for younger kids? You bet it is, but for those who are entering puberty and past, this book should be in their hands immediately. Every library should have this book in their collection to help youngsters understand their bodies. And personally, if y ...more
Pedro C
Apr 25, 2016 Pedro C rated it really liked it
Non-fiction MS science series:

Harris, Robie. It's Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health (The Family Library) (1994).

This book might be an eye opener for many children. This book talks about puberty but goes into much more mature subjects. Some people might think that the graphics are obscene for middle school kids. I find it very educational as long there are some guidance and explaining in between.

The book has a great tone. It's matter-of-fact, comfortable, an
Ben Stoker
Apr 19, 2016 Ben Stoker rated it did not like it
This book is pornographic (83 illustrations of nude people in 91 pages, 2 of which depict sexual intercourse). You'd have to verify your age is 18 to be able to access a website with these images, but because it's for education it's ok to subject 10 year olds to it. At places it is a how to guide for sexual intercourse, masturbation and other topics. Anyone who wants to give their children a moral based education in sexuality should probably steer clear of this book, as the book is designed to t ...more
Nov 28, 2015 Kathleen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-lit
Wish I had this book going through puberty X,D I remember my mom giving me a book but I can't remember which one it was and it definitely wasn't this one XD

This book is excellently researched and written. Everything is broken down for kids on the younger end of puberty to understand. Older kids won't feel talked-down to, either. The overall tone is gentle and understanding. Puberty is scary! This book does an excellent job of making kids feel comfortable with the language and illustrations, whic
Nov 25, 2014 Anne rated it liked it
This book has a lot of information. It is written in a way that preteens and teens would understand. While many of the pictures are a bit graphic and embarrassing, most are either funny or helpful for those that are more visual. Otherwise a post it could be used to block out the images you don't care to look at. This is definitely a book I could have used when I was younger. Many of my questions would have been answered and I wouldn't have had to rely on learning so much from my friends in high ...more
William Andrews
Feb 21, 2014 William Andrews marked it as to-read
Allowing trash like this book in American schools points a finger at the precipitous drop in the effectiveness of our churches teaching of the precepts of the Bible in America; eg. Where Homosexuality specifically is called a sin. The overwhelming acceptance of this carnal book is the disappointing message to the Christian community and esp to our Heavenly Father. What a shame!
Sara Testarossa
Jul 11, 2014 Sara Testarossa rated it really liked it
I read whichever version of this book was out when I was about 11 years old. It was EXACTLY what I needed out of a puberty/sexuality education book. It's scientifically/medically solid and accurate, realistic, and easy to understand for people at the reading level of the target age range. It's got enough clever wording to keep someone of the target age engaged. The drawings are cute and helpful. I like how they include drawings of people of various races, body types, and with and without disabil ...more
Oct 11, 2015 Molly rated it really liked it
Challenged Book:
This book goes into detail about all the things that children go through during puberty. From body changes, to sex, to reproduction, to STDs, to LGBT, this book covers it all. This book is very logical, using terms from the dictionary, the Greek or Latin roots of words, pictures and diagrams yet also using kid friendly terms to describe their scientific explanations. It gives the facts without imposing opinions on each topic. When it comes to discussing abortions or birth contro
Kelsee Crenshaw
Apr 22, 2016 Kelsee Crenshaw rated it it was ok
Shelves: informational
It's Perfectly Normal by Robie H. Harris is an informational book that answers every question about the changing of bodies, growing up, sex and sexual Health. This book is split into sections. Personally, this book was not my favorite, due to the fact that it was not interesting to me at all. It was not a book that I would pick up and read again. This book may be of good use to students who have questions about these types of issues, and they don't feel comfortable going to their parents about i ...more
Tattered Cover Book Store
This book is on the bibliography of books challenged, restricted, removed or banned in 2007-2008 put out by Robert P. Doyle and the American Library Association. More info at
Taylor O'Brien
Dec 09, 2014 Taylor O'Brien rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, 5th-8th
One that people seem to either love or hate! This book is incredibly detailed and informative. It addresses just about every issue or question a kid could have about the topic (and plenty many might never even think of). I would recommend this book for readers who are mature and not too squeamish about this topic. I would also advise that parents read through it first so that they are aware of the breadth and depth of the information covered and so that they may be prepared for questions or conc ...more
Oct 09, 2014 Mrs.George rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, mom-son
Like the version for younger kids (It's So Amazing), this book is informative, accessible, and frank about the scientific, physical, and emotional details kids yearn to know about but are often squeamish about asking.

Topics include anatomy and physiology, reproduction, relationship health, healthy sexual behaviors, sexually transmitted diseases, labels for sexualities, birth control methods, puberty, abuse, and more. The writing is friendly and straightforward, and only slightly/occasionally co
Feb 23, 2016 Becky rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An all encompassing sexual health book that I plan on giving to my young adolescent. While the book seems to be very simple writing- such as for a 10 year old, some of the topics such as homosexuality, anal sex, and having a baby and abortion seem too mature of topics for this age. I planned on giving it to an older child, and while the information is very informative and easy to understand, it may be too elementary to hold interest. A very unbiased book, however subjects like the emotional inte ...more
Livia Frost
Aug 22, 2015 Livia Frost rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I'm giving this one 4 stars mostly because it's the best book I've read out there in this topic area (so far). And really, it was pretty darn good. Good enough that I'm happy to hand it over to my 10 and 12 year olds. BUT, I'll have to talk about certain things with them that the book GOT WRONG.

For one thing, the book presents gender identity as generally binary. There is a very short section on transgender people (completely non-judgmental :-) ), but no mention of other genders whatsoever. For
Mar 18, 2014 Kate rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anthropomorphic birds and bees
Recommended to Kate by: Rivera
Shelves: teen-fic, ischool
Annotation: Replete with colorful, anatomically correct drawings on every page, this non-fiction book guides young people entering adolescence through the physical and emotional changes they may have begun experiencing already or will be soon. The author covers a very wide array of topics, including anatomy, hormones, sexual orientation, sexual development, the ins and outs of puberty, hygiene, conception, pregnancy, birth, intercourse, birth control, AIDS and other STDs, sexual abuse and even I ...more
Sam Ott
Oct 11, 2015 Sam Ott rated it really liked it
It's Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health by Robie H. Harris and Michael Emberley. Published 1994.
Genre: Nonfiction
Format: Illustrated Nonfiction
Plot: Discusses the development of the human body, puberty, and sex at many stages and in detail. Works to answer questions that pre-teens and teens will have as they grow and develop.
Considerations: Contains a frank discussion of bodies, bodily functions, puberty, sex, and sexuality.
Review Citation: SLJ, February 201
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Robie H. Harris has written many award-winning books for children of all ages, including the definitive Family Library about sexuality: IT'S PERFECTLY NORMAL, IT'S SO AMAZING!, and IT'S NOT THE STORK! She lives in Massachusetts.
More about Robie H. Harris...

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